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Natural UAE

The intertidal

This is defined as the area between high and low water marks. For the most part this will be over sand, shells and broken coral. Various species of rays feed in very shallow water on crabs and molluscs. Smaller black-tip reef shark, up to 1 m in length, come close inshore, normally in the early morning or at dusk, feeding on both small fish and crustaceans.

Goatfish scour the bottom, filtering the sand for tiny invertebrates. Voracious olive-backed pufferfish eat almost anything which comes their way; shoals of grey mullet, therapons, immature queenfish, half-beaks and vast shoals of fry, as well as flatfish, are all present. The rocky inter-tidal zone has fascinating rock pools at low water, which are microcosms of the shallow-water ecosystem, with resident populations of fish, crustaceans and invertebrates.

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